By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Writer
As the Round of 12 began at Charlotte Motor Speedway, the 12 remaining Chasers all entered with an equal amount of points after the points reset. One of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers still in the Chase for the Championship is Kurt Busch.
Busch looked like his Bank of America 500 would have promising results after being 10th on the speed charts in the only practice.
Qualifying was more disappointing as Busch ended up putting his No. 41 Haas Automation / Monster Energy Chervolet SS 23rd on the grid.
Busch’s day started slow, as he stayed around where he started for the first run of the race.
Busch finally cracked the Top 15 on lap 40. He hovered between 15th and 11th for the next 70 laps.
Busch’s march forward was interrupted when a caution waved in the middle of a round of green flag pit stops on lap 118. Busch was one of many drivers who were forced to take the wave-around after fellow Chaser Joey Logano had a left front tire go down.
Busch restarted in 17th on the running order. Busch then stuck around the 15th position for the next 150 laps.
On a restart on lap 260, a wreck similar to ‘the big one’ from superspeedways broke out. Austin Dillon spun his tires and was bumped by Martin Truex Jr. Dillon spun across the infield as Chase Elliott spun towards the outside wall after contact from Kyle Busch. Eight other drivers, including Kurt Busch piled into the wreck. Luckily for Kurt Busch, he received minimal damage to the nose of his Stewart-Haas Racing Chevrolet that was fixed after a trip to pit road.
Busch restarted just inside the Top 15 and was able to climb up to eighth by the time the checkered flag waved. This was his 19th Top 10 of the season.
Busch now sits fifth in the standings, 24-points above the Chase cut-off.
Busch was alright with just being able to finish in the Top 10.
“We went through a lot today. The restart, I guess we survived it better than most when everybody had that trouble. We just missed on the set-up on the first five laps and then after 30 laps, man, she would just go away. We got what we could out of it and all-in-all an eighth-place finish, guys had trouble, it is one of those days where you just go ‘alright’ we will take it. It’s not the best, but with Haas Automation, Monster Energy, that is the finish we need to advance through this Chase.”
Kurt Busch has the 18th best average finish among active drivers in the last five races at Kansas Speedway. Kyle Busch has the driver average at Kansas in the last five races with an average finish of 6.00.
Busch has a career average finish of 17.10 at Kansas in 21 career starts at the 1.5-mile track. He has two career top fives at Kansas and seven career Top 10s. Busch has led only 259 laps at Kansas, where he also has two DNFs in his career.
In the last five races at Kansas, Busch has an average finish of 17.60 with an average driver rating of 87.4. During this five race span, Busch has one top five and three Top 10s. He also has one DNF during this span of races as well.
Based on these statistics, Busch will have his work cut out for him n the Hollywood Casino 400 as he tries to secure his position to the Round of Eight.